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Jerry Blake
08-24-2004, 09:35 PM
Noticed this article is on MSNBC today - More polluted fish advisories issued (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5808526/)

fishinboat
08-24-2004, 09:54 PM
Jerry, that is disturbing but not surprising to me. i was raised in the coal fields of eastern kentucky where coal prep plants and coal fired power plants are prevelant. i read in my ky sportsman guide that the danger is non exsistant in our lakes but the ohio river (which borders us to the state of ohio has some mercury content in fish. from what i understand most mercury contamination is in the fat of the fish. catfish are a great receptor of mercury from what i have read. i really hope this gets better but doubt it though as oil gets higher coal gets more feasable for a power source. the strange thing in my area is that we have many lakes that are below prep plants that have no sign of mercury contaminants(it is said) oh well something is gonna kill me... i hope its not mercury poison.... certainly not from my crappie..lol :(

Moose1am
08-25-2004, 08:43 AM
Here is the link to another news paper article that appeared in my local paper this morning.
http://www.courierpress.com/ecp/news/article/0,1626,ECP_734_3135572,00.html

Man I hate to see all these warnings. I love it when the EPA guys said that the INCREASE in warnings is due to Increased Monitoring not increase in Pollution" Does he mean that the Pollution has always been there in high levels for all these years and that EPA failed to monitor for that pollution and warn the public in a timely manner as they were charged by congress to do? Or does he mean that just because we increased the monitoring that the pollution increased recently. I prefer to believe that it's was the former.

Lots of time the government refuses to monitor or look for the pollution because they don't want to let the public know that the Govt failed to protect us. And also because they know that to clean up this mess it's going to tick off a lot of people because it costs billions of dollars and it's going to take years to get this mercury all cleaned up and out of the fish and our environment. Not to mention the cost of cleaning up the PCB's and other contaminates

It just makes me sick.

Bottom line is that today we fishermen can only eat 6 OZ of fish a Week withoug fear of harming our children or Pregnant women. What a shame that we are letting our Environment deteriorate so badly. We really need to have people in government that are going to actually stop this pollution not encourage more of it.

Moose1am
08-25-2004, 09:37 AM
I can explain this guys:

Coal contains small amounts of mercury naturally. I am not sure how that mercury got into the coal in the first place but believe me that it's there. When coal is prepped it's ground up and maybe washed with water to remove substances such as Pyrite that is heavier than the coal. The coal floats in the water and the pyrite sinks and is seperated from the coal. This removes some of the Inorganic sulfur (Pyrite which is Iron combined with sulfur) from the coal. But the organic forms of sulfur and the mercury stays in the floating coal powder. The coal is then taken out of the wash plant and dried and stored and then shipped to the power plants via train, or barge or truck to be burned. A small 250 megawatt power plant can burn fifty train cars of coal every day. Each train car will hold 100 tons of coal. Now that is for only one boiler. If your power plant is larger then you must double the amount of train cars of coal that is burned EACH DAY. Remember that there are 365 days in a year and that these power plants have been operating and buring coal for over 50 years now in some parts of the USA.


Now when you burn the coal in a high temperature boiler by grinding the coal to a fine powder and injecting the fine powdered coal into a buring flame it releases the mercury and the sulfur into the smoke that comes out of the boiler and that is sent out into the ambient air though the tall smoke stack.

To clean that smoke you need to run it though a dishwasher so to speak (Scrubber). Not all smoke stacks have scrubbers on them and not all scrubbers are designed to remove mercury from the smoke.

Most scrubbers have an alkaline substance (Lime) mixed in the water that combines chemically with sulfur Dioxide and other sulfur compounds chemically but the lime does not bind with the mercury emissions. Therefore' the mercury is not taken out of the smoke.

As the smoke leaves the power plant's smoke stack is rises hundreds of feet into the ski or may even dip back down to ground level. The smoke plume may stay together for miles or it may fan out up or down and sideways for many thousands of feet and disperse the smoke all around. The smoke will rises if the hot smoke gases are hotter than the surrounding air or it may sink if the outside are is very hot as in the summer time. Atmospheric conditions in the environment will determine how the smoke plume behaves once it leaves the smoke stack.

Also the prevailing wind direction will deterime which way the smoke will be carried away from the power plant. If you live 20 to 200 miles downwind of the smoke stack then you are in the path of the deposition of that mercury. The mercury coming out of the smoke stack is small in amount compared to all the other particles in the smoke but over 50 years time that small amount of mercury can add up.

It's the ACCUMULATION of mercury over 50 years that is causing the mercury contamination in our lakes and rivers. The article said that many of the USA lakes are contaminated with some forms of pollutions. That could be mercury or it could be pesticides.

There are hundreds of different types of Pesticides. Pesticides are herbicides, insecticides and we all know that there are hundreds of different herbicides that we use these days in our home gardens and on our farms. We also use many differnet types of Insecticides on the farms and around our homes. So the contamination in our fish that we eat may not all be mercury and it could be any one of thousands of different types of man made PESTICIDES that bio-accumulate in our environment.

Washing coal and prepping coal does not release mercury. Now if your park your vehicle downwind from the coal prep plant it may rust out faster as the fine coal dust will be setting on your vehicle's paint and those small particles sitting on the paint will attract moisture which will form sulfuric acid when the water mixes with the sulfur contained in those microscopic coal dust particles. You may have millions of coal dust particles sitting on your car until you can get to the car wash.

But, the mercury is not released until you add energy (heat energy or fire) to break the chemical bonds and release the mercury from the coal.

How did that mercury get into the coal in the first place is what I wonder? Somehow mercury was in the substances that got burried millions of years ago and was formed along with the coal in the ground. They say that coal is formed when long dead plants got buried in the earth and over time the pressure of the earth above heated up the decaying plant material and formed the coal that we use today to get our energy from.


The bottom line is to watch how much fish you eat. If you have young children and or your wife is with child then you are at greater risk. Young chilldren are more susceptable to pollution. So feed them less contaminated fish.


Clean the fish properly. Cut out the belli fat and any other yellow fat that is found in the fish flesh. Contaminates are CONCENTRATED in the fish's fat. Filet the fish and you can get rid of a lot of the fat. If you fry the fish in hot oil the contaminates can be leached (disolved) out into the oil. If you reuse the oil again and again then you are saving not only the oil but the contaminates in that used oil. Throw that old oil out. You see the reason why Pesticide are leaching out into the oil is that they are nopolar substances and don't disolve in water but instead disolve in other nonpolar substances like oil. Water is a polar substance and we all know that water and oil don't mix. That is because water is polar and oil in NON polar. There is an old saying in Chemisty. {Like disolves like} This means that polar substances will disolve in polar substances and non polar substances mush be use to disolve non polar substance. You use acetone to remove paint and glues. Water won't remove oil based paint. But terpentine will. This is because terpentine is a non polar substance just like the paint.

Well this applies to the fat in fish. The contaminated fish fat will disolve in the oil since both are non polar chemicals. Now you know the rest of the story. LOL



Also if you fly the fish it will have more contaminates left in the fish when you eat it than if you grilled the fish and let the juices come out of the fish and away from the flesh. I am talking about an outside grill (propane type grill) The juices will contain the melted fat that has the most contaminates in the fish. By getting rid of the melted fat and not letting the fish soak in those juices you can further reduce the amount of contaminated found in the fish flesh. Jsut try not to breath the smoke fumes while grilling the fish or you could be inhaling the contaminates that could be found in the smoke from the grill.



So not only do you need to limit the amount of fish that you eat these days but you have to learn to prepare the fish to remove the contaminates if you want to reduce your exposure to these toxins.

Remember that toxins such as mercury can harm the brain and your central nervous system. Pesticide work in the same way in that they are designed to kill by destroying the central nervous system of insects and destroying plants (weeds). The more exposure (DOSAGE) you get the greater your risk of disease. So if you can reduce your exposure to these chemicals you will be safer. Not totally safe as it's impossible to reduce all the risk these days but why not try to do what you can to protect yourself and your family from greater exposure to these dangerous chemicals.

I love fried fish but I dare not eat too much these days for fear of getting too much exposure to mercury or pesticides.




Jerry, that is disturbing but not surprising to me. i was raised in the coal fields of eastern kentucky where coal prep plants and coal fired power plants are prevelant. i read in my ky sportsman guide that the danger is non exsistant in our lakes but the ohio river (which borders us to the state of ohio has some mercury content in fish. from what i understand most mercury contamination is in the fat of the fish. catfish are a great receptor of mercury from what i have read. i really hope this gets better but doubt it though as oil gets higher coal gets more feasable for a power source. the strange thing in my area is that we have many lakes that are below prep plants that have no sign of mercury contaminants(it is said) oh well something is gonna kill me... i hope its not mercury poison.... certainly not from my crappie..lol :(

big "E"
08-25-2004, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the great info. guys.I've been sending in all the letters that are posted on here , and have even been receiving them by email myself.Awareness is key , but moving folks to action is sometimes tough.Eric.

Joe
08-25-2004, 04:44 PM
Moose you say that a power plant burns 10,000,000 lbs. of coal a day. That sounds like an awfully lot. Where do you get your data?
Joe

Cane Pole
08-25-2004, 05:07 PM
Go to :

http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish

pick your state and find out what is going on.

Cane Pole

Moose1am
08-25-2004, 06:25 PM
Well I worked for the Local EPA and had close ties to the State Board of Health. You can see the trains coming and going into the Power plant near my parents home. Yes that is a lot of coal. But the good thing is that plant has double alkali Sulfur Dioxide Scrubbers and Electric Precipatators that capture a great deal of the SO2 emissions and the particualte emisisons before they are released into the environment.

The plant today operates two boilers and has the capacity of producing 250 MegWatts of Electrical Power. The company that owns this plant also owns another power plant in our area. And then there are more power plants just within 50 miles of where I live. PSI Cinergy and Indiana Michigan along with Big Rivers Power Company. We also have ALCOA and GE buring fossil fuels in this area with ALCOA using more coal to produce electricity than most small cities require.

The good news is that a lot of these newer plants are required to have new controls installed when they are built.

The bad new is that the 50 year old plants are not being shut down and replace with newer plants with new controls but instead they are being kept going by refurbishing them over time. There is a lot of legal quesitons about this practice and this power company was sued by USEPA to get them to comply with the Clean Air Act of 1977 and the Clean Air Act Admendments of 1990. Hopefully this can be resolved and we can reduce the amount of air pollution coming out of these older midwester power plants in the future.

I just read on CNN that the USEPA was sued and will be force to come up with some Mercury Emission Regulations for power plants in the future.

You see the Clean Air Act and the Clean Air Act Admendments have provisions that allow USEPS to be sued in a federal court to force them to comply with the laws that congress passed. USEPA is required by law to protect our health and safety and to protect us from Hazardous emission of air pollutants. They don't always do this in a timely manner and therefore are often sued and and lose and are forced by court order to do the job that congress charged them with doing.

Have you ever been inside a power plant and see the giant coal pulverizing machines that are used to crush the coal before it's burned.

These power plants burn a lot of coal mate. I can see the smoke stacks from the highway as I drive into town on a clear day. On bad days it's so smoggy that it's hard to see more than a mile away. This year we have been having better weather and less air pollution induced haze. I like that and wish it were like that all the time.

We have a lot of health problems in this area with Alergies and athsma. We also have our share of heart attacks and cancer in this area.

We once had three major hospitals for a town with a population of only 100,000 people. Those three hospital also served the entire tri-state but that is not to say that Southern IL and the other small towns surrounding Evansville, IN didn't have their own smalller hospitals.

The power plant that I am talking about is one of the smaller power plants in this area.

I toured that plant with the State Regulatory People back in the 1980's when it was first put online. I also served on the Country Volunteer Fire Dept that serviced that Power plant. We (fire dept) made fire prevention inspections and tours of that plant from time to time.

I also worked for a company that analyzed the local coal company's coal before it was shipped out of this area on train and barges.

I have been working on air pollution issues since 1977.

We could figure this out based on the amount of heat required to generate that amount of power. If you know the amount of BTU's that are in a ton of this areas coal then you can figure this out. It's been a while since I did those type of calculations but at one time I did that sort of thing everyday. I was in charge of issuing air pollutions permits to local factories at one point in time. So you might say that it was my job to know how much coal a boiler used each hour, each day and each year.





Moose you say that a power plant burns 10,000,000 lbs. of coal a day. That sounds like an awfully lot. Where do you get your data?
Joe

fishingpox
08-25-2004, 08:59 PM
Well, I finally got my computer back and I'm glad to see all the great posts in here. I feel bad for you guys that live in close proximity to the coal burning plants. And I know you fear for yourselves and families. I am in agreement with you that we need cleaner air and water. I lived in Los Angelos area some years back and the smog was terrible, especially for an ole Arkansas boy like me.I remember when I could drink the water from the creeks at my grandmothers house, no way would I think of drinking from them now. I live near Memphis Tn., and used to fish mostly oxbow lakes off the Mississippi River. I do not fish them nearly as much, just because of pollutants. But, I have always thought, the fish in them won't kill me in my life time. Here is my problem with our environment. At what price are we willing to pay to clean up this nation. Can we tackle the mercury problem and it not cost alot of people's jobs?...I don't know,I'm asking. I do not subscribe to the "doom and gloom" Al Gore environment policy. I do not want the Kyoto Treaty enacted. That alone would kill our economy. I really do fill sorry for you guys who have to watch the Mercury levels in your fish, it is not right to have to worry about such things. I hope I have not offended anyone, it was not my intention.

Moose that last time I was in here you were working on your PVC trees,how did they work out? What did you fill the pipe with?

fishinboat
08-25-2004, 09:31 PM
Moose1am, your info is very true about power plants. you speak the facts about coal fired plants. i worked for about 18 years in the coal fields as a mechanic and saw many coal prep plants built that washed the coal and mixed it(for higher btu) to make it more valuable as so called clean coal.lol. i was wondering what about all the highland silt ponds loaded with mercury sediment at every mine site... even more danger to our water table before the coal is burned. what a world we live in.. i really enjoyed the fact of knowing that people do have insight and care like i do about are kids futures as fisherman and just living a healthy life in general.

Moose1am
08-25-2004, 11:35 PM
When I was still going to Purdue we were told in my Environmental Engineering Course that cost was the major factor that determined how we cleaned up or if we cleaned up the environment. It's always a factor. We can't spend more than we take in, unless we are the Federal Goverment. Only the US Govt can run a deficite. LOL

I don't have any figures on how much it's going to cost us to clean up the smoke stacks. I know that right now one of the power plants has begun adding ammonia to the smoke stacks trying to reduce another pollutant called NOX. NOx stands for Nitrogen Oxides and Nitrogen Dioxides combined. But so far the SO3 emissions have increased while the NOX decreased. LOL. Actually it's not funny as the town of Mt Carmel IL has filed a law suite in Federal Court asking for the court to order Cinergy to comply with an agreement to stop the SO3 pollution. Hopefully they willl get this all worked out.

Most of the costs go to the legal teams in the beginning then the Engineers get their cut and finally the trade guys get some money as they are the ones that actually fabricate the pollution controls. Back when I worked at the EPA we had the Business Agent for the Local Iron Workers working with me. He told me back in 1977 that they wanted to make sure that the power plants got built first and that later they would come back and put on the pollution controls. I guess you could call that job security for the Iron Workers. Well that is exactly what happened in the last twenty seven years.

Hopefully there will be a cheap way to control the mercury emissions. I wish I had a proven design that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I really don't think that any jobs will be lost as there is no way that they will ever shut down the power plants here. Everyone would scream bloody murder if we didn't have any electricity especially during the summertime or during the cold winter months. The price for electricity here were I live is one of the lowest in the nation. Back when I worked for EPA the guys that ran the power plants and others said that if they had to put on controls that the price of electricity would go too high but actually that never happened. The market place took care of the prices and like I said even after installing all the new air pollution controls on a lot of these power plants the price of electricity is still low relatively speaking. We might actually see an increase in jobs in this area as someone (Millrights, Ironworkers, Boilermakers, electricians and laborers have to build the pollution controls and retrofit the power plants. Then someone has to operate the scrubbers and run the landfills that disposes of the waste produced by the scrubbers. Security guards have to be hired to guard the new plants etc.

And then when you factor in the savings from reduced medical costs the overall picture gets even better.

It all depends on how much those workers want to charge for their services to design and build the controls though. If they charge too much then it may not get done.

Right now health care is a major factor in the cost of living and everyone is scrambling trying to figure out how to pay for health care these days. Some or many are doing without health insurance since it costs so much and the deductables keep rising. Then the cost of prescription drugs in 4 X that of inflation. So by keeping the environment cleaner we can help our people be healthier and happier hopefully.

I pray that there is a way to control the air and water pollution that does not cost any jobs and that does not drive up the price of power too much.

As for the PVC trees, well they are still down in 15ft to 20ft of water laying on their sides. I did purchase another can of that formaldehyde based foam insulation but I have yet to dig up those trees. I have not forgot about them. I need to figure out a way to snag them from the boat and bring them up to the surface. The foam will take 24 hours to expand and dry and become water proof so I will have to take the trees out of the water completely and bring them home. That means I will have to take my drill with me to unscrew the screws that hold the 1" id pipe to the 4" ID pipe. I will have to disassemble each tree before I get the foam injected into the top of the trees.

I did hear someone talking about another guy that has been using the trees to fish. He ties his boat up to the launch ramp iron work and then lets his boat out from the shore and then drops an anchor off the back of the boat. I was told that he fishes at the ramp like this. Now I have found another brush pile that is actually inbetween my two PVC trees. My PVC trees don't show up on the depth finder as they are so deep that algae has not grown on the surface of the PVC Pipe. The water is way to murkey and dingy for sunlight to get down to 20ft deep. So the bush pile that I can see must be made out of wood or rocks as it shows up great on the depth finder. And I have actually caught fish off that bush pile. Not too many crappie but one or two. Actually I have been fishing a different lake recently and have not fished my PVC trees in a while. But the last time I fished near them I caught a crappie within 2 min of putting my jig in the water. But it was the only one that I caught. Evidently all the crappie prefer other parts of this body of water. :(




Well, I finally got my computer back and I'm glad to see all the great posts in here. I feel bad for you guys that live in close proximity to the coal burning plants. And I know you fear for yourselves and families. I am in agreement with you that we need cleaner air and water. I lived in Los Angelos area some years back and the smog was terrible, especially for an ole Arkansas boy like me.I remember when I could drink the water from the creeks at my grandmothers house, no way would I think of drinking from them now. I live near Memphis Tn., and used to fish mostly oxbow lakes off the Mississippi River. I do not fish them nearly as much, just because of pollutants. But, I have always thought, the fish in them won't kill me in my life time. Here is my problem with our environment. At what price are we willing to pay to clean up this nation. Can we tackle the mercury problem and it not cost alot of people's jobs?...I don't know,I'm asking. I do not subscribe to the "doom and gloom" Al Gore environment policy. I do not want the Kyoto Treaty enacted. That alone would kill our economy. I really do fill sorry for you guys who have to watch the Mercury levels in your fish, it is not right to have to worry about such things. I hope I have not offended anyone, it was not my intention.

Moose that last time I was in here you were working on your PVC trees,how did they work out? What did you fill the pipe with?

Big Zig
08-26-2004, 07:20 AM
My PVC trees don't show up on the depth finder as they are so deep that algae has not grown on the surface of the PVC Pipe. The water is way to murkey and dingy for sunlight to get down to 20ft deep. So the bush pile that I can see must be made out of wood or rocks as it shows up great on the depth finder

What? What make of echo unit are you using? Does this mean you can't pick-up any kind of deep water structure? I set my boat up with a Garmin 150 at the bow, and a 250 on the console, these units pick up air bubbles in the water - which can cause confusion at times.

Moose1am
08-26-2004, 03:43 PM
Big Zig:
The PVC pipes are hollow for the most part. Sound waves travel right though them without bouncing back off. And the rounded edges are sort of stealth like maybe. Bottom line is that they are very hard to see on any depth finder. Maybe it's due to the material and the shape of the pipes. Certain materials absorb certain wave lenghs of energy maybe. I read in the Crappie World Magazine that gave me the idea and how to build the PVC Trees. That was the Fall 2003 Issue of Crapipe World Magazine. There is an article about how to build fish attractors that starts on page 39. According to the guy that wrote the article on how to make the PVC trees he said that the PVC trees are nearly indestructable and nearly undetectable on sonar. Give Credit to Skip Surbaugh for helping everyone learn how to build these PVC crappie trees. Skip is a guide on Lake of the Ozarks according to the article.

Hope this helps explain what I was trying to say.

BTW I use a Humminbird LCR8000 unit and it's very accurate and works great. It does not have the Pixel count of some of the newer units but when it's set to the zero to 15ft scale it's got a lot more detail than when it's on the zero to 30 ft scale. The screen on my unit is HUGE. It measures 6" wide by 4" high and at the 0-15ft scale one pixel equals 1 1/2" of depth. That is not too shabby. Humminbird makes a good depth finder guys and I have had mine for years now. I think I paid close to $800 bucks for it when it was brand new.
It has split screen and total screen update. There is a screen memory feature that allows you to save several screens. It's totally automatic or you can manually use adjust everything. The screen even has a built in light for night fishing. It has bottom lock capability and you can zoom in on any part of the screen. If you are in 100ft of water and using the zero to 120ft scale to see the bottom you can slit the screen and make the right side of the screen zoom in using the 0 -15ft scale and then slide that scale up and down from the bottom to the surface and see any section of the lake in detail. So if you see fish at 50ft you can use the zoom feature to slide the scale up or down until you can see the dots representing the fish at 50ft in 100ft of water. By using the sliding zoom feature in Stop Screen mode or freeze frame I can figure out the exact depth of the fish. I can tell if they are at 51 ft or at 50ft. Now when crappie fishing it pays dividens to know if the crappie are at 20ft or at 22ft. Two feet off can make the different between catching fish and not catching fish. You don't want to be fishing at 22ft deep when the crappie are suspended at 20ft and two feet above your jigs. Remember that most pros tell us that crappie look UP to feed. So you need to be at the level of the crappie or above them slightly and not below them to entice the bite. That is what I have read and I have found that to be true in my fishing experiences for suspended crappie. Depth and speed control are critical when it comes to catching a mess of those summer suspended crappie. That same works for suspended winter fish in Dec.





What? What make of echo unit are you using? Does this mean you can't pick-up any kind of deep water structure? I set my boat up with a Garmin 150 at the bow, and a 250 on the console, these units pick up air bubbles in the water - which can cause confusion at times.

Moose1am
09-04-2004, 10:51 AM
I want to share a good story about pollution being CONTROLLED today. I was reading the morning paper online when I read that CINERGY is going to installed new scrubbers on some of it's biggest Coal burning Electric Power Plants over the next few years. They plan to install new SO2 scrubbers and other units that are designed to control NOx emisisons that can cause the smog that we all see during the summers months. Hopefully this can be done effeciently and it will help control the smog and give us all cleaner air. BTW scrubbing out the smoke should reduce some mercury and particulates from the smoke. Even though the scrubbers are designed to remove SO2 by a Chemical Reaction with a Basic substance and the Sulfur Dioxide the water should reduce some of the particualtes that carry the mercury into the air. By reducing the air pollutions we are starting to help control the mercury and other chemicals that are introduced into the enviroment.

This should be good news guys.


Thank you CINERGY for doing your part guys!

Here is the link to the article in the Evansville Courier.
http://www.courierpress.com/ecp/local_business/article/0,1626,ECP_780_3160466,00.html





Noticed this article is on MSNBC today - More polluted fish advisories issued (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5808526/)

labill
09-04-2004, 03:57 PM
I had occaision several years back to go to L.A., Calif. on a work related basis. I can't express the shock I felt when I topped the last rise and couldn't see anything but the tops of the tallest buildings....then when I got to street level my eyes were burning and I felt like I was smothering. I don't see how people can live in that mess. I found a flat near the ocean for the night and was grateful for the off shore breeze. Needless to say, I did my work and was on the East side of the Sierras at the end of the 2nd day, and drove nonstop back to Arkansas. Haven't been back since. It's hard to believe that we're poisoning our country when we COULD, at the very least, initiate mandatory steps to control industrial pollution. I know we need industry, and it may be expensive, but we have got to consider our children and grandkids. Polluted lakes, oceans, air and aquafers are not the legacy we want to leave them. "Just one man's opinion."